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Old 10-04-2008, 06:46 PM
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drmom777 drmom777 is offline
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Default Food Obsession

OK, this is for Red, or anyone else with expertise in training problems.

My Mini was a mess when I got her--at 11 months she was unhousebroken and uncivilized in every way. About a year and a half later she comes when called without fail, and i am proud to say she does it with enthusiasm, and even if she is on the trail of something.

She is, of course, housebroken, and sits, heels, has a decent down-stay, and does a number of silly parlor tricks. I can not break her of stealing food, no matter how hard i try, but I think that may be unfixable, because she is utterly obsessed with food and convinced she is starving.

The problem I am asking for help with is that if anyone else has food, I can't get her to leave them alone. I can get her to not jump on people by having her sit, or recalling her, no problem, but not if they have training treats or food. She just harrasses them and tries to stick her head in their pocket.

We have agility equipment in our dog park, and she will start going over the jumps and other equipment in an effort to get the person to fork over treats. She begs and rolls over, anything she can think of, and I can't get her to stop it.

In this situation, I can't get her to pay attention to me at all, unless I leave the area and call her, then she comes like a good girl. i would like to just be able to call her off and have her attention without actually having to leave.
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:57 PM
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Baxter'smybaby Baxter'smybaby is offline
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I have no advice--just want to say that I am impressed that she has a solid recall! Good for you--I can't report the same for Baxter--it's pretty good, except if he is sniffing...then all bets are off!
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:46 PM
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No help???
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:53 PM
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Sorry, Doc. I have absolutely ZERO advice, but I hope that someone else does.
Is she strictly food motivated or does she have a toy that she really, really likes that would make her leave it?
OH! Have you taught her to "leave it"??
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Old 10-04-2008, 09:58 PM
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How solid is her down stay? Can you put her in one before food is brought into the picture and get her to hold it? How close can she get before she's in the "food trance?" I might start by working her at a distance from someone eating something rather boring. As she gets more focused on you, decrease the distance. Having two food motivated dogs, I feel your pain.
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:00 PM
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yes, she will leave it, but not under the circumstances i have described. She knows good and well what "LEAVE IT" means, but will not if she might get treats.

And she is totally food motivated. It makes her easy to train, in many ways, since she would try to learn to do taxes or fix the plumbing if there were treats involved. For a homemade liver treat she is prepared to turn herself inside out if requested. But she is also motivated by other p[eoples food.
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:02 PM
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If I have treats too, I can get her to pay attention to me, but i hate bringing treats to the dog park or where dogs are loose because there are so many other dogs that have the same trouble as Mini. I do not like finding myself laying on my back with five dogs sitting on my chest.

And the little opportunist will down-stay until the cows come home, if she thinks she will get a treat for it. But if I don't have anything for her, and someone else does, forget it.
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:07 PM
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This might not be an option but I figure I'll throw it out there anyway.

A lot of people who feed raw will do a gorge and fast method with rescue dogs that have been starved and are basically food obsessed like Mini. If you'd be willing to switch her to raw I think it may really help. You'd have to work her up the gorge and fast method, but most of the people I know who do it will let their dog eat as much meat as it wants (with some dogs it's like 15% of their bodyweight) until it just stops. They are truly, stomach distended, full. Something most dogs have never experienced before, and they just don't have the urge to eat anymore.

Then the dog won't eat another meal for 3 or 4 days. Maybe have a snack, chicken gizzard or something, on the days they don't have a gorge meal, until that 3 or 4 days is up and they get to splurge again.

At first when I heard it I thought it was ridiculous and dangerous, but a lot of the raw rescue people I know swear by it. Just something to think about.
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